Enterprise centre wins extra funding

Support for fledgling local businesses gets a boost

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Craig Canning's fitness training company benefited from BEC support

Residents who are interested in starting their own business should contact the Business Enterprise Centre on 020 8746 0355

Anyone interested in more information on Optimal Wellbeing should call 08450 523 531 or email craig@optimalwellbeing.ltd.uk

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Hammersmith & Fulham residents looking to make it in the business world will be able to get the advice and support they need after the council’s business support agency, the Business Enterprise Centre, was awarded nearly £150,000 of extra funding.

Residents who are either thinking of starting up a business, or who have recently begun trading, will be able to benefit from BEC’s long-standing entrepreneurial expertise following the announcement earlier this month that it would receive £148,000 from the London Development Agency’s new business programme, ‘Business London’.

BEC, which is based on Uxbridge Road in Shepherd's Bush, helps new and emerging business owners to draw up business plans, develop their financial and accounting skills and find affordable premises and extra investment. It also provides its clients with business mentors. BEC submitted its bid to the London Development Agency as part of a consortium of West London business organisations, each of which will receive its own discreet funding to support businesses in its area between October 2006 and March 2009.

In addition to helping Hammersmith & Fulham entrepreneurs, BEC will offer advice to media and creative businesses across West London through Focus West, its specialist media arm, and the Centre for Creative Business.

Craig Canning, from Hammersmith, is a BEC client currently launching his own business, a personal training and fitness company aimed at the corporate market called Optimal Wellbeing. Says Craig, “I first sought assistance from BEC about six months ago, on the recommendation of Business Link 4 London, and it’s been very useful. BEC have not only gone over my business plan with me, but they’ve also put me in touch with a mentor who has given me some really good, business-minded advice; he’s kept me moving forward, and provided me with some valuable contacts in the process. My expectations are higher now as to what I can accomplish in the business world – before I was just dipping my foot in the pool, but now I’m ready to jump into it.”

Cllr Frances Stainton, Hammersmith & Fulham’s cabinet member for regeneration, says: “I’m very pleased that the Business Enterprise Centre has received this funding, which will enable even more local people to enjoy the benefits of running their own business. Here at Hammersmith & Fulham council we firmly believe that our residents should be able to maximise their economic potential in order to spread prosperity and financial security right across the community. BEC makes this possible through its innovative programme of support for both aspiring entrepreneurs and recently established businesses, giving them the opportunity to develop and grow into established trading concerns.”

The Business Enterprise Centre is located at TEK House, 11-13 Uxbridge Road. It is funded by Hammersmith & Fulham council, Regenasis (the borough regeneration agency) and the London Development Agency. In March 2005 it was named ‘best Business Support’ organisation in London at the London African & Caribbean Entrepreneurs awards.

November 7, 2006